Car driver dies after collision with truck on SH1 in Levin

One person has died following a crash involving a truck and a car on State Highway One at Levin.

Police say the crash happened at the junction with Ward St tonight.

The driver of the car is deceased while the truck driver is uninjured.

Both vehicles have been removed from the scene and the road was scheduled to reopen soon, police said in a release about 9.30pm.

The Serious Crash Unit and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Team will investigate the crash.

Police car night generic
Police car (File picture). Source: 1 NEWS



Elderly woman in critical condition after being run over by reversing car in Palmerston North

An elderly woman is in a critical condition after being run over by a reversing car in Palmerston North this morning.

Police say she was run over by a car reversing from a driveway on Grey St, Palmerston North at 11am.

She is currently in a critical condition at Palmerston North Hospital.

Police say members of the public and the driver of the car assisted the woman at the scene.

Source: istock.com


PM pulls out of weekend media appearances due to 'diary issue'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has pulled out of two weekend media appearances due to a "diary issue". 

Ms Ardern's appearances on TVNZ's Q+A and Newshub Nation were cancelled this weekend. 

"There's been a bit of a diary issue in my team. That's something they've worked through.

When asked if she was not appearing due to a tough few weeks, which saw Clare Curran resign from her Ministerial positions and MP Meka Whitiri stand down while an investigation is pending, Ms Ardern said "absolutely not". 

"There's no question I remain very much available for comment on any issue of the day."

When asked if she was not appearing due to a tough few weeks, Ms Ardern said "absolutely not". Source: 1 NEWS

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$3m spent by Government on two education summits

The Government spent $3 million on two education summits, with 1400 people attending the events to discuss making the NZ "education system fit for the future and for the needs of all", said Education Minister Chris Hipkins. 

A paper was released today on the findings of the summits, which included the identification of values in the education system, finding a shared vision and to enable the Minister to be provided with "well-founded and challenging reccommendations" through a broad engagement approach. 

The Tomorrow's Schools Review, the Early Learning Strategic Plan and the NCEA Review were "drawing on those ideas and suggestions to inform their work on the changes". 

"The summits put special emphasis on inviting the voices and communities not usually heard in the education debate, ensuring they could attend. The events were specifically designed for a different style of engagement which enabled an open-ended and genuine exchange of ideas," Mr Hipkins said. 

The two summits were held in May, with about 1400 people in total attending. The Christchurch summit cost $1.41m and Auckland cost $1.26m, with $440,000 spent to design and develop the summits. 

It comes after the Government faced criticism over the cost of its Justice Summit held last month, aimed at overhauling the country's prison system, which cost $1.5 million - more than twice the amount budgeted.

The summit aimed at overhauling what Labour says is a "broken" system blew is budget. Source: 1 NEWS

National's education spokesperson Nikki Kaye told 1 NEWS that "most New Zealanders would be very supportive of ensuring the education sector are involved in policy discussions about the future of our education system".

"However, this needs to be done in a fiscally responsible way and I am concerned that there are anywhere between 13 to 20 reviews at the moment in education and the summits have been expensive.

"I think the Minister needs to demonstrate in the future that he can provide some efficiencies in the way that we are having these conversations, because quite rightly there will be teachers and principals out there saying that should be spent on front line education rather than just on consultation."

Speaking on TVNZ 1’s Q+A, Chris Hipkins said teachers also need to committ to the process.
Source: 1 NEWS


One dead, 10 injured after Boston gas explosions leaves neighbourhoods looking like 'Armageddon' hit

A series of gas explosions an official described as "Armageddon" killed a teenager, injured at least 10 other people and ignited fires in at least 39 homes in three communities north of Boston today, forcing entire neighbourhoods to evacuate.

Authorities said Leonel Rondon, 18, of Lawrence, died after a chimney toppled by an exploding house crashed into his car. He was rushed to a Boston hospital but pronounced dead there in the evening.

Massachusetts State Police urged all residents with homes serviced by Columbia Gas in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover to evacuate, snarling traffic and causing widespread confusion as residents and local officials struggled to understand what was happening.

"It looked like Armageddon, it really did," Andover Fire Chief Michael Mansfield told reporters. "There were billows of smoke coming from Lawrence behind me. I could see pillars of smoke in front of me from the town of Andover."

In this image take from video provided by WCVB in Boston, firefighters battle a large structure fire in Lawrence, Mass, a suburb of Boston, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. Emergency crews are responding to what they believe is a series of gas explosions that have damaged homes across three communities north of Boston. (WCVB via AP)
A police chief said there are so many fires "you can't even see the sky". Source: Associated Press

Gov. Charlie Baker said state and local authorities are investigating but that it could take days or weeks before they turn up answers.

"This is still very much an active scene," he said. "There will be plenty of time later tonight, tomorrow morning and into the next day to do some of the work around determining exactly what happened and why."

Hours after the explosions, the utility's parent company issued a brief statement saying its crews were still performing safety checks in the area.

"Our thoughts are with everyone affected by today's incident," Indiana-based NiSource said in a statement. "The first priority for our crews at the scene is to ensure the safety of our customers and the community."

Baker previously said authorities hadn't heard directly from Columbia Gas, but later called the company's response "adequate."

By late Thursday (local time) all of the fires had been doused but many areas remained silent and dark after residents fled and after power companies cut electricity to prevent further fires.

Schools in all three communities were cancelled for tommorow, and some schools were being used as shelters for residents.

In this image take from video provided by WCVB in Boston, flames consume a home in Lawrence, Mass, a suburb of Boston, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. Emergency crews are responding to what they believe is a series of gas explosions that have damaged homes across three communities north of Boston. (WCVB via AP)
Emergency crews are responding to what they believe is a series of gas explosions that have damaged homes across three communities. Source: Associated Press

Lawrence resident Bruce Razin was among the evacuees standing outside the Colonial Heights neighbourhood near the city's high school trying to decide what to do next.

Officials had cut power in the area and the streets were pitch black, save for emergency vehicle lights. Razin said he arrived just as residents were being evacuated, and immediately saw the house two doors down was levelled from an explosion.

"I couldn't imagine if that was my house," said Razin, who purchased his home nearly two years ago. "It's total destruction. I'd be completely devastated."

With a backpack filled with personal items he had hastily grabbed, he said he'd head to his mother's home a few towns over for the night.

In Lawrence, a man whose neighbourhood was among dozens that erupted in fire says he ran into his basement to find that the room was glowing. Resident Ra Nam says he was in his yard when the smoke detector in his basement went off around 4:30pm EDT Thursday.

When he ran downstairs and saw the boiler on fire, he quickly grabbed a fire extinguisher and put it out. Minutes later, Nam said he heard a loud boom from his neighbour's house and the ground shook.

Nam said a woman and two kids had made it out of the house but the basement was on fire.

In this image take from video provided by WCVB in Boston, flames burn through a home in Lawrence, Mass, a suburb of Boston, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. Emergency crews are responding to what they believe is a series of gas explosions that have damaged homes across three communities north of Boston. (WCVB via AP)
Flames burn through a home in Lawrence. Source: Associated Press

Lawrence General Hospital said it was treating 10 victims, including at least one in critical condition.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency blamed the fires on gas lines that had become over-pressurised but said investigators were still examining what happened.

Columbia had announced earlier today that it would be upgrading gas lines in neighbourhoods across the state, including the area where the explosions happened.

It was not clear whether work was happening there, and a spokeswoman did not return calls.

They've left at least four people injured.


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